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Math Motivations for Football Lovers: The Football Point Spread

If your child would rather play football than do math, you should explain the football point spread system. A math teacher, Charles McNeil, developed this system after obtaining a math degree from the University of Chicago and betting avidly on Chicago Cubs games. The system has caught on and been copied by gambling institutions everywhere. บ้านผลบอล
How the Spread Works

Rather than just bet that a team will win or lose, a point spread is used to make the bet more challenging. For example, if you know an all-star team is going to beat the underdog, that’s an easy bet – but, do you know by how many points the all-star team will win by? This is where the point spread comes in. The underdog team will “get” points, while the all-star team will “give” them. In other words, it’s the difference between the scores of the two teams.

For example, the all-star team may be -7, which means the bet is that they will win by more than seven points. The underdog team may be +7, which means the bet is that they will lose by less than seven points. Once the game is over and you have the final score, you simply either subtract or add the given number from or to the score to see if you have won the bet. If the all-star team’s score was 25 and the underdog team’s score was 17, and the bet was on the all-star team for 7 points; deduct 7 from 25 (which equals 18). Now compare the score 18 to 17 (the underdog’s score). The all star team has managed to cover the score, so you win the bet!

Using Math Skills for Fun and Football

Given how much fun it is to watch football for the pure sport alone, and the adrenaline you and your child will feel while watching to see whether or not you were right on the calculations – the dread of learning math will be barely noticeable at all. Other ideas for using math in fun ways concerning football include keeping track of how many games a team will play, and out of those games, how many they have won (and then calculating a percentage). You may also do the same for another team and compare the two (calculating the odds). Consider how this information will help in betting on the football point spread. You can use this information to make a more-informed choice on which team will win and by how many points they can be expected to win. Of course, in betting, there is also a chance to bet amounts of something (such as money, for example), and this provides an opportunity for even more math skills to be developed and used.

You don’t have to raise your child to have a gambling addiction by any means (in fact, in some jurisdictions, it’s illegal) – but, used just as a simple activity to strengthen math skills in a fun, enjoyable way is a great idea for combining math with the love of football.


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